This is one that’s been on my bucket list for WAAAAY too long – visiting Flyin’ Miata. And it’s extremely silly to have not visited until now. I live all of seven hours away. Seven. That’s a long morning drive.
Shameful. I need to knock more items off that list.
This beauty was right out front to greet us – Keith Tanner’s personal Martini livery NA. A big V8 shoved under the hood, full cage, and just about the most presence a Miata can have.
Huh… I should have parked Mona next to this with her Hot Wheels livery. This thought is just now occurring to me… ugh.
Guess I’ll have to go back.
Seeing this one in person was fantastic. I followed Keith’s Targa Newfoundland adventure and prep for it. His build log and Targa adventure. And… yeah, stunning to see.
The little bits that make up the whole car were the best. The hand laid stripes. Attention to detail everywhere. But the carbon fiber NACA duct lid was my favorite. Sharka also has one, but it’s painted over in Montego. Keith still has his CF duct visible and the dark blue stripes are deleted to show the CF weave.
Enough fanboy gushing. Time to go inside.
This beauty was sitting inside waiting to be picked up. A V8 Exocet. For the few reading along who might not know what that is, it’s a Miata with the body removed. They separate the body and drivetrain and the pop on this tube frame exoskeleton structure.
It’s um, fast.
Like I said, it was being picked up later that afternoon. That meant no rides. Alas.
But they had other fun stuff in the shop.
This V8 ND was just kicking back on the lift, getting the once over after being beaten upon by various journalists. Mona made little whimpering noises as I poked around the engine bay considering a V8 for her.
Truly though, my favorite part is this gorgeous center exit V8 exhaust. It’s the FM “Hush-o-matic” that’s got a vacuum operated butterfly valve to let the mufflers be loud or quiet. They even integrate it into the CAN bus and control it with the wiper speed selector.
I mean, sure, I’d love a V8. But I would also love the beautiful noise that comes with it. And tweaking that noise with the wiper stalk? So fun.
I had to sample it for myself.
This white beauty also has a V8 under the hood and was being tested and run in before delivery back to the customer.
And testing can include taking random visitors for a quick ride on the back roads around FM’s shop…
Keith took me for said quick ride. And… yeah. It might end up being an expensive ride for me in a year or so.
It was great.
The Fox suspension was really nice. It soaked up the bumps around the shop well. I was impressed. Mona’s XIDAs are great, but so is the Fox.
The V8 spun the earth under the tires nicely. All the torque and all the beautiful noise. And oh man, the noise. So perfect.
I could type more but it would be gushing. FM does an incredible job on these V8 conversions. I’m smitten. Thanks for the ride Keith!
We went back to the shop and my attention turned to FM’s new NA project car. It… has a name. I missed it. It might have been called “Bug”? I’m ashamed for not remembering, but it’s their newest shop project using a car they’ve had around for a long time.
I’m not giving more details about it except for my own small contribution to it.
Keith contacted me a month ago asking for a set of custom gauges to go in the new project’s cluster. He wanted them to be based on the Stack vintage dial design with a rotated tach face and the logo on the large gauges. The purpose is to match the auxiliary Stack gauges being installed throughout.
The font, the scale size and quantity, the text placement… everything is as exact as I could make it. And I even hand delivered and installed the gauges. I hope the various journalists like them.
And after installing the gauges, Harriet and I left to continue our little summer road trip and eventually go back home.
Without a V8 in Ramona. For now.
A BILLION thanks to Keith, Travis, Jeremy, and everyone else who showed me and my little girl around and put up with us crashing your work day. I’m looking forward to doing it again!